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Bare Bones

Bryan Adams: Bare Bones

  • Bryan Adams
  • Rock
  • Out now
  • Decca Records
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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Bryan Adams: Bare Bones

It doesn’t
happen every day to find an artist who sounds as good live as he does on his
studio-recorded albums. So when Bryan Adams chooses to strip down his most
popular songs to their acoustic bare bones minus the backing vocals and instruments;
we know that it will be worth it.  

It has been
thirteen years since the Canadian rocker’s live album MTV Unplugged, which was well received for its
simplicity as well as Adams’ rich acoustic vocals and guitar riffs. Bare
was recorded during Adams’ eponymous tour in 2010, and it reminds us
again of the precision and splendour of his live performances, this time with
the occasional accompaniment of keyboardist Gary Breit.

The twenty-track
listing of the album is an organised collection of Adams’
greatest hits. Song selections include titles from hit albums as old as his 1983
album Cuts Like A Knife, with the popular hits ‘I’m Ready’ and ‘Cuts
Like A Knife’ pleasantly renewed here with a backing solitary guitar. The album
also features the new and fast-paced single ‘You’ve Been a Friend to Me,’ which
lifts the steady rhythm of the album to a more refreshing dance beat.   

Bare Bones may be disappointing to those expecting Adams’ iconic rock songs to be performed in their
original arrangement. ‘Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You’ actually sounds
more interesting in its acoustic version without the original beat, though ‘It
Ain’t a Party’ doesn’t work as smoothly.

One thing
that makes this album enjoyable to listen to is how Adams interacts with the
audience; he talks to the listeners through the music, occasionally altering
the lyrics to fit the mood and amuse the audience. This is especially poignant
when Adams plays his greatest hit, the ageless
‘Everything I Do,’ which has his audience singing backing vocals that adds an
emotional depth to the live version.  

It was his
80s and early 90s hits that put Bryan Adams on the musical map, and that’s
exactly what the album presents: the earlier rock chords that made him rule the
charts. While live albums with little to no musical background can be a tough
idea for some, Bare Bones definitely deserves a chance.

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